Saturday, February 21, 2015

Maggie is 8 Years Old!

February 18, 2014
7 Years Old

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

January 2015

February 18, 2015
8 Years Old!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

20 Questions with Maggie, Age 8

  1. What is your favorite color? purple
  2. What is your favorite toy? Joyce and Maxine
  3. What is your favorite fruit? strawberries
  4. What is your favorite TV show? I don't watch TV much. [Note: She watches tons of Minecraft videos on YouTube, so... generational differences!]
  5. What is your favorite outfit? I have so many favorites.
  6. What is your favorite game? Minecraft. I answered that quick!
  7. What is your favorite snack? strawberries
  8. What is your favorite animal? cats
  9. What is your favorite song? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  10. What is your favorite book? The Benedict Society books
  11. Who is your best friend? Annie, Josie, and Mary
  12. What is your favorite thing to do outside? play in the snow
  13. What is your favorite meal? sushi
  14. What is your favorite drink? milk
  15. What is your favorite holiday? Easter, because you can get Peeps.
  16. What do you want to be when you grow up? a veterinarian
  17. Where is your favorite place to go? everywhere
  18. What is the best thing about school? recess
  19. If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do? pet Earl and Turtle for a thousand years
  20. If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be? twenty hundred thousand cats!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Great Molasses Flood

Today is the 96th anniversary of the Great Molasses Flood (aka the Boston Molasses Disaster).

This sounds very odd and fascinating, you say. What is heaven's name is the Great Molasses Flood?

Pull up a chair, my friend, and I will tell you a little story.

From the Boston Globe via Wikipedia

On January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, a poorly built 50 ft. tall storage tank collapsed at the Purity Distilling Company facility on Commercial Street. Almost 2,300,000 gallons of molasses burst out of the enormous tank, creating a 25 ft. tall wave that moved down the narrow streets at an almost unbelievable rate of 35 miles per hour.

21 people were killed and 150 were injured. Horses and other animals were smothered. Buildings were pulled from their foundations and destroyed. The elevated train tracks at Atlantic Street were mangled and a train was lifted off the tracks. The accompanying rush of air around the flood hurled debris and caused coughing fits. Afterwards, waist-high molasses flooded several blocks in every direction.

From Wikimedia Commons

Rescuers and medical professionals worked around the clock for four days hunting for bodies in the goo and tending to the injured before they stopped searching for survivors.

The immediate cleanup took weeks, although people in Boston reported sticky molasses all over town for months afterwards as workers, survivors, and rubberneckers had tracked the stuff through the streets and onto public transportation, etc. A fire boat was used to hose down the neighborhood with salt water which ran off back into the ocean causing the harbor to be brown all the way through the Summer.

And now, it's an infamous part of Boston lore. People here claim that you can still smell the molasses in the North End on hot and humid days, although I don't ever remember smelling it back when we lived on Beacon Hill.

From Wikimedia Commons

But why molasses, you're wondering. Why would anyone want 14,000 tons of molasses in a tank next to the Boston Harbor?

The Purity Distilling Company fermented molasses to produce ethanol which it's parent company, the United States Industrial Alcohol Co., then used to make rum and other spirits. An article about the Molasses Flood from a 1983 issue of Smithsonian, included the following little vignette:

"As the rescue workers and clean-up crews tackled the incredible mess the night of January 16, they paused in puzzlement at the sudden ringing of church bells all over downtown Boston. Nebraska had voted on the 18th Amendment and ratified it. Prohibition was law, and churches which had campaigned for it in their pulpits now celebrated. Men up to their ankles in the makings of rum listened for a moment and went back to work."

So, if you really need an excuse to break open the bottle of Captain Morgan today, pour one out for Boston in memory of the Great Molasses Disaster of 1919. Cheers.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

20 Questions with Kate, Age 6

  1. What is your favorite color? purple
  2. What is your favorite toy? kinetic sand
  3. What is your favorite fruit? bananas
  4. What is your favorite TV show? Hard choice! I like all of them.
  5. What is your favorite outfit? Hard choice again. I really like all of my outfits, actually.
  6. What is your favorite game? snowball fights
  7. What is your favorite snack? pretzels
  8. What is your favorite animal? cat
  9. What is your favorite song? I would say...hmm...What Does the Fox Say?
  10. What is your favorite book? I love all books.
  11. Who is your best friend? I have a lot, so I choose all my friends.
  12. What is your favorite thing to do outside? build a snowman
  13. What is your favorite meal? sushi
  14. What is your favorite drink? that fancy drink on New Year's Eve (Nana made the girls sparkling grape juice with orange slices and maraschino cherries in fancy cut glass tumblers!)
  15. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
  16. What do you want to be when you grow up? a vet
  17. Where is your favorite place to go? I like traveling a lot, so I like every place I go.
  18. What is the best thing about school? when you do birthday books (her teacher's fun class project on the kids' birthdays since the school has a no parties policy)
  19. If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do? I would basically do anything.
  20. If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be? a kitten
[Note: Decisiveness may not be Kate's strong suit! Maggie said, "I don't think Kate understands how you play this game." I think she just likes to keep her options open.]

More 20 Questions from the past few years HERE!

Kate is Six Years Old!

January 2014

February

March

April

May
Her first "gone tooth."

June
Pre-K Graduation: "When I grow up I want to be - a Veterinarian" and What Does the Fox Say?: "Hello! My name is Callie!"

July
Looking miserable in the horrid blue poncho that made her look "ridiculous" at Niagara Falls.

August

September
First Day of Kindergarten

October

November
*photo by Jeff Fowler*

December

Oklahoma Birthday Party
She got a make-up case from my parents and is looking extra fancy.

New Hampshire Birthday Party
Oh, the animal prints!! Kate knows how to party.

January 6, 2015
Six Years Old!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's Halloween!! (Editors Note: It's November 12th.)

Right, OK. So I know it's the middle of November. Several relatives have pointed out that I haven't put up any pictures of the girls in their Halloween costumes yet, tick tock. You guys, it's been NUTS around here. Today is the first normal day without a PTO responsibility, a school holiday, or a sick kid since this month started. And Mike has a work thing tonight and won't be home until after the kids go to bed, so you know, "normal." I do not like this kind of normal, but I admit that I piled quite a bit of our recent chaos on myself.

Just a friendly warning: I'll be taking the month of December off, except for our Christmas travel which I'm looking forward to. If you come at me with some chore between December 1st and January 7th (the day after Kate's birthday) I will ping candy canes off your forehead until you run away! Beware!

ANYWAY, here are some photos of the more fun stuff we've been up to since Halloween...

Pumpkin carving!

Squishy

At Maggie's insistence, I did roast the pumpkin seeds like my mom used to do. They were a hit!

Kate wasn't so into the grodiness of pumpkin carving. This is about the closest she got to the pumpkin.

Mike's handiwork.

The girls were witches this year, which surprised me. They started out wanting to be a cat (again) and Elsa, but switched to this instead. They looked great!

Scary.

Hobo Witch?

They organize their candy like this every year.

Not too extravagant, but all high quality loot.

The next night, we met Cousin E up at Gram and Grandpa's in NH to trick or treat again! It was pouring rain and freezing, but they had the best time - and then we had clam chowdah to warm up. CLASSIC New England Halloween.

We also celebrated Sweet Caroline's First Birthday!

Everyone loved the balloons best of all.

Next up - the required Fall in New England leaf-raking, pile-jumping photo shoot.

Jump!

Silly girls with leaves in their hair (and socks and pants and everywhere).

And finally, since the girls were out of school yesterday for Veterans' Day, they watched the movie Elf for the first time, and Kate decided to make her Christmas ["Crismiss"] List...

Comprehensive.
Reminds me so so so much of my cousin Amy when we were kids, although I think Kate might have her beat.
Please don't buy her the "lizrd glasis" because I'm getting those.
Also, she cut it in half so everyone could have a piece of it - covering all her bases, present-wise.

Not to be outdone, Maggie (who just wants some "fun stuff, like about science or whatever") decided to make the following rather fancy letter to Santa:

"Maggie's Wonderful Christmas List
Dear Santa, I realy want a fluffy kitten for Cristmas. Love, Maggie"
So to stay competitive in this current holiday present market, Kate also had to get in on this letter to Santa thing:

"Dear Santa, for Christmas I wat a mack your onw cat trees [I want a make your own cat treats (kit). - this actually exists]. Kate."
So, there you go. A photo update of our autumnal shenanigans. Thanks to Mike for his photography help otherwise this post never would've seen the light of day. Back to the grind!

PS - All I want for Christmas are bottles of bourbon and a nap!